2About the writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870 –1916) Pen name: Saki A British writerA blue plaque
3About the writerWitty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirized Edwardian society and cultureConsidered a master of the short story and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy ParkerInfluenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and KiplingInfluenced A. A. Milne and P. G. Wodehouse
4Major works Short Stories: Reginald, 1904 Reginald in Russia, 1910 The Chronicles of Clovis, 1911Beasts and Superbeasts, 1914The Toys of Peace, 1923The Square Egg, 1924A Historical Study: The Rise of the Russian EmpireA Fantasy: When William Came (A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns )A Parliamentary Parody: The Westminster Alice
5Life story Born in Akyab, Burma (now known as Myanmar) Brought up in a strict puritanical householdPosted to Burma in 1893Contracted malaria in 1895, resigned and returned to EnglandAttended World War I, killed by a German sniper in 1916"Put that bloody cigarette out!" ——his last wordsHomosexual, "that side of [Munro's] life had to be secret"
6The Romancers: Summary A professional beggar tried to tell his fakemiserable experience to Morton Crosby in orderto arouse sympathy in the latter, and eventuallyget money from him. However, Crosby was toointelligent to believe the beggar’s story. Insteadof exposing him directly, Crosby made up aneven more ridiculous story. In the end, thebeggar failed to cheat Crosby of his money.
7Main Characters: Morton Crosby portrayed as a man from the city, who is really concerned about his benefits.very suspicious and wary of the stranger.indeed street-smart as he did not succumb to the stranger’s persuasion.cleverly weaved his way out at last.describe the character of most people from the city
8Main Characters: The Beggar first tried to find some topics to chat with Morton in order to arouse sympathy in Morton.His topics were avoided diplomatically for several times but he tried and tried.finally came to his main point to borrow money from Morton, but was still declined at last.
9Dialogues:The Beggar: I could tell you things that you'd hardly believe. Marvelous things that have really happened to me.Morton Crosby: Nowadays there is no demand for marvelous things that have really happened, the professional writers of fiction turn these things out so much better. For instance, my neighbors tell me wonderful, incredible things that their Aberdeens and chows and borzois have done; I never listen to them. On the other hand, I have read ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ three times.
10Dialogues: The Beggar: I take it that you are a professing Christian. Morton Crosby: I am a prominent and I think I may say an influential member of the Mussulman community of Eastern Persia.The Beggar: Persia. I should never have taken you for a Persian.Morton Crosby: I am not, my father was an Afghan.The Beggar: Afghanistan. Ah! A very wealthy country, I believe. No real poverty there.Morton Crosby: It possesses, nevertheless, a number of highly talented and ingenious beggars, if I had not spoken so disparagingly of marvelous things that have really happened I would tell you the story of Ibrahim and the eleven camel-loads of blotting-paper.
11Dialogues:The Beggar: Then if I was to ask you for a small loan - if I was to ask you for, say - Morton Crosby: At any other time, certainly, in the months of November and December, however, it is absolutely forbidden for anyone of our race to give or receive loans or gifts; in fact, one does not willingly speak of them. It is considered unlucky. We will therefore close this discussion.The Beggar: But it is still October!Morton Crosby: The Afghan November began yesterday.
12Descriptions: Morton Crosby: The Beggar: discouragingly making an excursion himself into the realms of fiction saw the opening and avoided itThe Beggar:strenuous, unseeing gazemoved uneasily in his seatobviously disconcertedwith a somewhat aggrieved air smitten into bewildered silence for a moment recovered himself and renewed his attackraised his voice on the word "poverty" with a suggestion of intense feeling
13Descriptions: Morton Crosby: The Beggar: as an explanation of the foregoing announcement said Crosby stiffly The Beggar:stifling all desire to hear the history of Ibrahimpursued the stranger doggedlysaid the greybeard hastilyin a tone that betrayed no enthusiasm for the philosopher's memory now genuinely interested
14Descriptions: The conversation had at last taken a favorable turn. Morton Crosby:said Crosby fervently The Beggar:The listener‘s eyes were glittering.with a thin sneer ringing meaningly through his words began the greybeard fawningly , edging nearer on the seat and hurriedly wondering how large he might safely make his request
15Descriptions: The beggar’s request was declined by Crosby. Morton Crosby:Crosby rose from his seatsaid Crosby severely, and in another moment he was striding across the Park, leaving his recent companionThe Beggar:exclaimed the adventurer with an eager, angry whine scowling and muttering furiously on the seatchattered to himselfthe snorts and snarls that escaped from him
17AllegoryOut of the corner of his eye Crosby also noted with some interest the hesitating hoverings of a human figure, which had passed and repassed his seat two or three times at shortening intervals, like a wary crow about to alight near some possibly edible morsel. 像是一只警惕的乌鸦，即将落在一小块可以用以充饥的东西旁边
18SarcasmThe uncared-for clothes, the aggressive, grizzled beard, and the furtive, evasive eye of the new-comer bespoke the professional cadger, the man who would undergo hours of humiliating tale-spinning and rebuff rather than adventure on half a day's decent work. 编造故事并被人戳穿也不愿冒险干上哪怕半日体面的工作
19Humorif I had not spoken so disparagingly of marvelous things that have really happened I would tell you the story of Ibrahim and the eleven camel-loads of blotting-paper. 要是刚才我没把不同寻常的真实事件贬损一通的话，我就会把易卜拉欣和11匹骆驼运载的吸墨纸的故事说给你听了。
21Q&A Q: How to understand the sentence “two of a trade never agree”? A: The original meaning of the sentence is 同行是冤家. According to my understanding, here it means Crosby is also quite expert in romancing, which is to the beggar’s astonishment. He regrets for he should not have chosen Crosby as his victim. After all, the beggar becomes a victim of his own scheming. Crosby just gives him a dose of his own medicine. (以其人之道还治其人之身)
22Q&A Q: How to understand the first paragraph? A: It displays the background of the story. The story happens in autumn, the season between summer and winter. Saki here describes summer as insincere, winter as harsh, but autumn as trustful. His reason is very absurd and humorous. But I think the word trustful is actually corresponding to the beggar’s romance in the following passage, which also embodies Saki’s writing style.